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Series 18 Episode 19

If you’re on this site, reading these guides, then I’m assuming that before Casualty – you’re primarily a Charlie and Baz fan. And so as I sit here to write the guide to their last episode together, I hope I’m capturing your thoughts as well as my own.

Casualty opens as we expect it to. Baz is lying in a hospital bed surrounded by machines and tubes. She has a bandage around her head and is being incubated. Kenneth and Dan are by her side and Dan is holding her hand. Charlie can be seen outside the room talking to a doctor, and as he enters Kenneth asks if he has any news. Charlie tells him they can’t see any change whilst Baz is still on the ventilator. Dan asks after Louis and Charlie says he should be ok to go home the following day. Charlie is dressed in works outfit and Dan comments that he thought Charlie was still on duty. Charlie leaves the room and returns to the department. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one looking for something to thump when Dan took such a dismissive attitude towards Charlie’s feelings.

Charlie arrives in Casualty and the staff fall silent as they watch him walk by. However he immediately gets on with his job and is harassed by a woman wanting a bed for her mother. Harry tells him they can cope but Charlie insists that with Tess away he will work.

Charlie sits in his office on the phone enquiring about the bed when Josh brings him a drink. Charlie explains to Josh that by working at least he is around if anything should happen to Baz. Josh asks if Dan doesn’t want him around. Charlie says Dan doesn’t say, but then comments that he doesn’t say to Dan ‘what are you doing here? She doesn’t want you?’. He says that he and Dan now have formed a strange bond – they are both willing Baz not to die. Charlie explains his frustrations to Josh and wishes that Baz had of just let Dan go back to Canada. Why did they all have to be in the car?

Charlie assists Lara with a patient. He has cirrhosis and clearly is very ill. Whilst treating the man Simon tells Charlie there is a phone call for him. It’s ITU - they are about to perform the second brain stem test on Baz. Lara tells him they will be fine here.

Charlie, Kenneth and Dan gather at Baz’s bedside whilst Dr Sahni carries out various tests. It’s not good – Baz can’t feel anything. Dr Sahni says he will disconnect the ventilator just for a couple of minutes – to see if Baz breathes on her own. Rather a shame that we didn’t get to see this scene or the emotions that went with it.

Finn tells Josh that the car crash was Louis’ fault. He tells Josh that Dan hasn’t told Charlie because he doesn’t want Louis to be blamed. Josh says that Charlie would never take it out on Louis, to which Finn replies it isn’t fair to take it out on Dan.

We return to ITU and Dr Sahni tells Charlie, Kenneth and Dan that the tests confirm that Baz is brain stem dead. Dan asks if there will be hope if the machine is left on. Charlie explains that it’s not Baz breathing, she can’t – she’s lost the ability to breathe. Kenneth breaks down and says children shouldn’t die before their parents – Baz shouldn’t die before him. You know, I adore Kenneth, and Frank Windsor is a star. He has added a whole new dimension to this storyline. With Baz’s hand still in his – Dan comments that Baz can’t feel anything. Charlie just looks on and replies ‘No. Nothing’.

Dr Sahni talks to Charlie alone. He wants to know how Baz and her relatives feel about organ donation. Charlie tells him he has been praying it wouldn’t come to that – however it’s what Baz would want, he knows. Charlie asks if Baz had a donor card – he says she always used to carry one. But Dr Sahni says there wasn’t one on her and in any case they need her husbands consent. Charlie sadly looks on, he’s not her husband anymore – and it seems so wrong that someone who knows so little about Baz gets to make the final decisions about her life.
Charlie approaches Dan and says he knows there is no right time to discuss this, but asks if he and Baz ever discussed organ donation. Charlie tells him it’s a question they always ask relatives. Dan asks ‘Who’s we? The hospital? The medical club? I thought she meant more to you than that.’ Charlie takes the insults as Kenneth watches on. Charlie tells Dan this is what Baz would’ve wanted, but Dan tells him not to be so patronising. He tells Charlie to leave…..and Charlie does. If there was ever a time for Charlie to throw a punch – that was it.

Charlie explains what happened to Josh and tells him Baz is not on the donor register and didn’t have a card. Sadly, all her life was in Toronto. You know on the South Park soundtrack – ‘Blame Canada’ – yeah say no more. Charlie knows what Baz would have wanted and it’s clear, well it’s always been clear who really knew Baz the best.

Dan resumes his place at Baz’s side and Kenneth tells him that Baz wanted to be a doctor before she was Louis’ age. Dan asks if Charlie has asked him to ‘bend his ear’, but Kenneth angrily replies that he’s her father. Kenneth says he wishes he could turn back the clock, he wishes this wasn’t true – but it is. He says ‘You know Baz. Afterlife and heaven wasn’t what mattered – it was what she could do for people.’ But Dan states he doesn’t want Baz touched. He really doesn’t know her at all.

Harry and Simon tell Lara that there is no hope for Baz. Lara states her concerns for Charlie and Louis and then asks if Baz is being kept on a ventilator. It’s clear she has a candidate in mind for Baz’s organs and as she is about to tell Harry Charlie walks in on their conversation. Lara apologises but goes ahead to tell Charlie about the man with cirrhosis. Harry silences her and apologises to Charlie. But Charlie says ‘What? Baz would have been cheering her on’. So true. So Baz. She would have.

Charlie and Dan arrive in the childrens ward and sit with Louis. Charlie tells him the doctors have tried very hard to make ‘Mum’ better – but they can’t. Charlie tells him Baz has died and asks if he would like to say goodbye. Louis asks how can he if she’s dead. Dan tells him he can say goodbye – they can all go together. Louis stands up and hugs Dan. Charlie looks like his whole world has collapsed and wipes tears from his face. This is wrong – Louis is Charlie’s Son.

Charlie and Kenneth watch as Dan consoles Louis. Kenneth says Dan knows him better – Charlie has said it himself. Kenneth goes to light up a cigarette but Charlie says he can’t do that in the hospital. Kenneth says he wishes he could believe he’d be joining Baz when he died but it’s clear that he doesn’t. Charlie asks Kenneth if he has tried speaking to Dan about the organ donation. Kenneth says he has tried and Charlie asks ‘why?’ Why if Dan cares about Baz that much can he not see it’s what she would want. Kenneth asks Charlie not to involve him in this – what does it matter – none of them have got Baz now.

Charlie overhears the man with cirrhosis breaking the news to his daughter. He joins Dan outside in the car park. He says whatever he may think he’s really sorry. Dan replies ‘For what? Taking Baz away?’ Charlie tells him he has every right to be angry but he has no right to let that cloud everything else. Dan says he loves Baz no less just because he was being dumped – but he doesn’t want her carved up and going to total strangers. Seriously – we didn’t need to hear that about our beloved Baz. Dan asks if Charlie is so brainwashed by his job that he can’t understand how he feels. Charlie says this isn’t about his job it’s about Baz’s, she spent her life saving lives. Charlie tells Dan about the man whose daughter will go into care if he dies. He asks if Baz would have wanted that if she could have prevented it. Dan says he doesn’t give a damn and Charlie says ‘Really? You wonder why she came back to me. I didn’t take her.’ Dan walks away – saying Charlie is trying to take her now. Charlie angrily shouts that he wasn’t driving the car.

Josh again joins Charlie in his office, and the photo of Charlie, Baz and Louis that sat so proudly is now back in it’s rightful place. Charlie says he is waiting for ITU to ring down about disconnecting the ventilator. Charlie says Dan hasn’t changed his mind and all that seems to count is that he gets to decide what happens to Baz. Josh tells Charlie about the accident and how it wasn’t Dan’s fault. The phone rings – and every Baz fan’s heart stopped beating. But it’s just the beds manager – and Charlie mumbles his way through the bed story with Josh. But you just know that his heart is breaking.

The paramedics bring in some serious Casualties as Dan and Charlie watch on. Dan says he guesses this is why Charlie and Baz were so close. He says he never saw her work (I told you he never watched Casualty). He asks Charlie what will happen to Baz if he agrees to the organ donation. Charlie says there is an operation, one single incision and a retrieval team. The donor has to be a match and that works in order of location and waiting lists. Dan says Baz would want this and says he will tell Mr Sahni. Charlie thanks him but Dan says he isn’t doing it for him.

You know, in all of this organ donation talk, and fighting over who should make Baz’s decisions now she can no longer make them for herself, something was forgotten. Baz died. There was such a time lapse from last weeks episode to this weeks - it was hard to know where you stood. As we watched Baz be taken into the ambulance last week she didn't seem that ill. A huge gap is missing - what happened between when she arrived at the hospital to when she was certified brain stem dead in ITU?

As the four men in her life gather at her bedside, Kenneth kisses her on the forehead and walks away. Dan in turn does the same before asking Louis to come and kiss Baz goodbye. Louis sits beside her and takes her hand, he says she can’t be dead as dead people are cold. Louis says he wants to wait until she wakes up. Charlie tells Louis it is the machine that is keeping her warm. Louis tells Charlie he is lying and Charlie tells him he is sorry. As Charlie’s tears well up in his eyes, Louis tells him not to cry and Charlie once again says he is sorry. Louis asks why? ‘Because she is dead?’ to which Charlie replies ‘yes’.

The final scene is a short one, with Louis still holding Baz’s hand he looks up and asks ‘What happens to me now?’ Charlie and Dan face each other as Kenneth watches from outside….and then the credits roll.

Since I knew this week would signal the end of Baz, I have been writing various different endings that would finish this episode summary. Tonight I find none of them are suitable – because what I thought, assumed, hoped would happen didn’t.

Tonight was Baz’s very last Casualty episode. Not just a guest character, not just a character that has served a few series – Baz. The first lady of Casualty. This episode shouldn’t have been primarily about organ donation, nor what happens to Louis – this episode should have given the viewers that have been with Baz for the last 18 years a chance to say goodbye. At no point was the focus on Baz – everyone talked about her and we watched her lie there – but it was never just about Baz. Had they forgotten the vibrant, fantastic doctor that used to strut around Casualty giving out orders? Had they forgotten how much of an impact she had and how much she means to Casualty fans? It appears so.

It seems they also forgot that Charlie and Baz, together, were Casualty’s first and most successful couple. We followed their every make up, break up and even sang with them when they got married! And yet tonight, in Baz’s final episode, there was no Charlie and Baz closure. No final farewell. In fact Charlie was the only one who never got to say goodbye – and the irony is he was the only one we wanted to say goodbye. I’m sure I wasn’t alone in sitting open mouthed as the credits rolled before Charlie had a chance to say farewell. It seems that after all this time, there actually was no final Charlie and Baz scene – no closure. It actually seems that their very last scene together was back in his office two weeks ago, when she told she loved him and always would. I'm sure no one realised the importance of that scene until now.

But alas, this should also be time for reflection and in all honesty there was probably only one person who could have saved Baz’s life; the most competent doctor ever to walk the corridors of Holby. The most fantastic character ever to grace the screens of Casualty – Baz herself.

We will miss her and we will miss not having the chance to scream and cheer the next time she walks back into Holby – for this time Baz is really gone for good.

However, she has left us with a catalogue of memories and a book full of quotes and the finest TV romance ever created. Of course it wouldn’t have been possible without the lady herself, Julia Watson and Derek Thompson. Together they created characters that we believed in and a partnership that we invested in. We’ll never forget the moments in Charlie’s office, nor the fun in crash, and when he hear Everlasting Love on the radio – well there’ll only ever be one couple associated to that song. Charlie & Baz – forever.

Quote of the Episode

JOSH: You know it’s hardly ever just down to the driver
CHARLIE: What you mean the wall jumped out and hit him

CHARLIE: It’s what she did Josh, she saved lives. How could he, how could he know her so little?

CHARLIE: Baz spent her life saving the lives of strangers